Nobel Prize-winning musician and song writer Bob Dylan’s one of the most iconic songs goes like this “The Times They are a Changin'”. This can’t be more accurate of the present scenario in the music industry that is all set to be transformed by the advent of new technologies.
The music industry, because of its intervened and centralized nature of conveyance and generation, undergoes issues such as piracy of digital records, financing, complicated royalty management, unsuitable rights management, and slow payments to musicians.
Apart from that, the irony is that irrespective of digital records, artists can’t get current information for their creation that otherwise would have enabled them to increase their marketing efforts. There is a problem when such important information is not accessible despite the music industry being online and digital.
The music industry also faces serious issue with regard to the source of financing as it generally becomes a form of enslavement. In 2015, American singer-songwriter Prince warned aspiring musicians and people related to the industry against inking record contracts and referred to the signing of such contracts as a form of slavery. A majority of the artists are never paid the advance and they end up living all through their music career constantly working for the record label. This, however, does not imply that record labels are the culprit here. Furthermore, there are several artists who would have not carved out a career if they had not inked the contract.
How blockchain can help?
Blockchain has been credited with the capability to bring such a huge amount of progress in several enterprises. Anything that deals with contracts, information, transactions, and money could identify applications for this technology. Blockchain technology can be immensely vital and a handful of new organizations are up and running in this segment.
Blockchain has an unusual structure that makes it feasible for use in a wide range of sectors. It is beneficial for processes entailing over-centralized industries and middlemen, which helps in building trust by getting rid of deceptive nature and developing transparency after the flow of digital assets, as well as encouraging recording transactions.
Blockchain can be used to decentralize the gathering of assets for musicians. Distribution of the risks among several partners instead of one can bring in an increasingly good sharing of royalties. Moreover, decentralization of business could empower music aficionados and fans to have a say in how artists get funding and this would promote the revelation of new talents.
Blockchain can help in the following way:
Combating piracy: Piracy has been a remarkable hindrance for musicians during the time of tapes. With the digitization of music and media ventures, controlling piracy has turned out to be increasingly difficult. The unchangeable security that it is associated with blockchain technology can be used to explore various ways for preventing unapproved distribution. If tracks can be encoded on to the blockchain, it can be guaranteed that a unique record is made each time a song is composed, countering piracy of the content.
English singer, songwriter Imogen Heap emerged as one of the few pioneers in the industry with regard to the blockchain technology with her trails and attempts to discover a blockchain solution for the music business since 2014. Presently, she is associated with another project known as Mycelia, which is a research work community for music producers that targets the business which totally acknowledges and pays for a musician’s hard work. New companies exploring blockchain for use in the music business incorporate Bitsong, BitTunes, dotBlockchain, Choon, ConsenSys Suite, PeerTracks, and PledgeMusic.
Allocation of royalties: A majority of songs have several engaging parties that need to be paid and there are several situations where administrators, producers, and lyricists do not get paid, mainly the ones who worked with the musician.
The smart contracts of blockchain can be used to empower automatic payments to royalties. Furthermore, royalty shares could be circulated to each and every contributor evenly if artists could tokenize each project. This could encourage the decentralization of funding and there should be an extensive digital rights database.
Property rights of song: Blockchain technology can be used to create digital solution to the complex management process of song rights. Musicians can register rights of song more effectively without burdensome paperwork or databases. Rights owners can easily transfer their holdings and royalty payouts will directly go to the musician.